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The Lower Price of Fuel May Not Affect Worldwide Transportation Costs

by Administrator26. January 2015 15:58

The Lower Price of Fuel May Not Affect Worldwide Transportation Costs | The Dependable Companies


Over the last few years as the price of fuel increased, transportation costs went up in the form of fuel surcharges and extra taxes. It makes sense that shipping costs should go down as the price of fuel declines. However, in the logistics business, that may not be the case. 

The Price of Oil Against the Price of Gas at the Pump

Over the last few months, the price of oil has seen a 30 percent decline. Experts say this is a result of U.S. oil production combined with a lag in the global demand. And yet, that drop in price has not been seen at the pump in the United States. While prices have dropped for diesel fuel, it is been a moderate five to seven percent decline in most places. In the northeast, the decline is larger but that is because prices were already higher to begin with. Natural gas prices are up by around 20 percent because there is a greater demand. 

What Does This Mean for Shipping Companies?

Even though fuel prices are declining, trucking rates may climb or at the very least stay fairly steady. The reason for this is simply supply and demand. Regulations to the trucking industry are reducing productivity and the driver workforce. The numbers of trucks available for transport is going down, while the demand for transportation is going up. 

Solutions to Maintain Costs

Shippers who take advantage of collaboration between different methods of transportation offer the best service and capacity for their clients. The challenge, as it has always been, is finding the best solution for you, while managing costs and the impact on the environment. Your shipping company needs to be flexible and look for the best solutions for you. 

The logistics industry is very competitive. Negotiate with your shipper to get the best service and rates so that you always know where your product is and control your own costs. A company that provides the service your customers expect is a bargain when you are not concerned about your product getting to its destination on time.


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3PL | Blog | Transportation Management

Tips to Help Small Business Owners Master Logistics

by Administrator26. January 2015 15:37

Tips to Help Small Business Owners Master Logistics | The Dependable Companies


For small businesses, mastering shipping and transport logistics can be tricky. Many shipping companies seem to have services optimized either for serving individuals, or large corporations with few options to suit businesses in the middle. However, not all the fault falls with the shipping company, as there are a lot of things that inexperienced small businesses get wrong with regards to logistics. These tips will help your business ship more efficiently with less cost to you.

Know Shipping Costs

Guessing on shipping costs can end up costing you a lot more than you had anticipated. If you have a large or unusual order from a client, make sure to get in touch with the logistics company to check on the cost of shipping before you quote the customer a price. If the amount you give them is too low, your company will end up paying the difference out of pocket.

Keep Technology Up-to-Date

Updating and automating logistics technology is expensive, but in many cases it pays for itself in the long run. Many logistics companies charge to process paperwork by hand but will do the same paperwork for free if it is submitted electronically. Keeping current can save you money on each order.

Keep Up with Changes

Costs change in the world of logistics, just as they do in your business. When drawing up a yearly budget, make sure to leave some leeway when it comes to logistics. You never know when shipping and processing costs might go up across the board.

Choose the Right Delivery Level

In the spirit of providing great customer service, many small businesses choose the fastest delivery level, even if it ends up costing them money. Ask yourself if a given shipment really needs to arrive the next morning, or if you can save your company a little money by sending it at a slower level.

These suggestions will help you cut the costs of shipping and logistics while still maintaining a great level of customer service.


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The Reality of Sustainable Shipping

by Administrator19. January 2015 14:16

The Reality of Sustainable Shipping | The Dependable Companies


The United States accounts for nearly 19 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel, second only to China. This places environmentally conscious shipping companies in a delicate position. Fortunately, businesses that harness the advancements in technology and the alternative methods available to them are able to maintain their services while reducing their total emissions.

Changes in Transportation

Many companies look to their fleet when they begin going green. Reducing emissions and fuel consumption is often as simple as tweaking the vehicles to make them more streamlined. Adding eco flaps to trucks to help reduce drag and subsequently reduce the amount of fuel needed for transport is a good place to start. Some businesses also designate when drivers can allow their engines to idle, and others instigate a mandatory company speed limit to decrease the amount of their trucks' emissions and fuel consumption. 

Do Not Overlook the Warehouse

Some businesses become so focused on making their fleet as green as possible that they forget about the simple changes they can make in their warehouses. Using high efficiency light bulbs for warehouse lighting helps reduce energy consumption, and EPA compliant tractors help get work done while decreasing the amount of emissions in the atmosphere. Finally, electric powered forklifts are another option for companies; they perform the same jobs as regular forklifts, but they do not necessarily get their energy from fossil fuels. 

Going Green with Shipping Practices

Many of the changes freight companies make are relatively small, but their impact is noticeable. Adding eco flaps to one truck may not seem like a huge change, but when companies add them to an entire fleet, the emissions change is significant. Though most businesses overlook their warehouses in their rush to go green, their shipping centers can actually be an opportune place to instigate green practices. Using high efficiency lights can save money and energy consumption, meaning the business's overall carbon footprint is reduced. Sustainable shipping is possible, and with smart practices, companies can make it a reality. 


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Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships

by Administrator13. January 2015 11:44

Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships | The Dependable Companies


Using partner networks, in-house assets, and knowledge-based expertise optimizes your supply chain to ensure that it operates in an economical, uncomplicated, and reliable manner. In addition, it provides competitive advantages and creates new methods of reducing expenditures.

Components of Effective Supply Chain Management

When businesses take a long-term partnership perspective, collaborative efforts become a worthy endeavor. Greater understanding of skills, experience, and expenses will often expose new potential sources of value. Additionally, the experience of operating closely together suggests that succeeding enterprises will take less time and be easier to administer than early ones. Principal components of effective supply chain partnerships include:

  1. Less-than-truckload and full truckload: Full truckload and less-than-truckload freight services utilize a network of company facilities to provide same day and overnight service. Dedicated fleet programs, satellite tracking, and delivery confirmation tools are just a few of the advantages of these components.
  2. Warehousing and distribution: Custom warehousing distribution programs offer flexible fulfillment and storage options that can increase or decrease simultaneously with your business cycles. Estimates correlate with inventory levels to warrant that warehouses have the correct amount of merchandise to meet demands.
  3. Third-party logistics: With third-party logistics, customizable supply chain solutions ensure that transportation solutions fit your needs. Reliable and fast access to services, trucks, and warehousing creates this type of asset-based volume pricing. The technique produces a cost-effective method for shipments that still conform to delivery deadlines.

Building an Adaptable Supply Chain

Successful supply chain collaboration is a worthwhile process even though it is not a straightforward one. However, organizations that efficiently collaborate traditionally experience remarkable reductions in inventories and expenses, and enhancements in service levels, speed, and customer satisfaction. 

Selecting partners based on capability, value potential, and strategic goals are ideal approaches to improve forecasting and demand planning. In that way, accurate forecasts create crucial steps toward active supply chain management. For that reason, building an adaptable supply chain requires the right alignment between a fresh attitude and a new culture to produce top-performing supply chains.


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What Logistics Means to the Industry's Most Influential Executives

by Administrator13. January 2015 10:59

Because "logistics" means something different to nearly everyone in every line of work in other various industries, it's often hard to gain a good comprehensive understanding of what the term. In this short video, Global Logistics Media asks some of the industry's most influential Executives the question: "What does logistics mean to you?"



3 Key Reasons to Utilize Global Logistics

by Administrator8. January 2015 13:47

3 Key Reasons to Utilize Global Logistics | The Dependable Companies


Global logistics opens up opportunities for growth and competitive advantage. An integrated approach focusing on value-added services with faster lead times increases product safety and security. For that reason, the match between a logistics focus and the internal organization is vital for sustainable growth. The challenge is implementing global processes and plans that are flexible enough to accommodate local and regional conditions.

Distinctly Competitive Environments

Reviews of the competitive markets indicate that three primary structures exist for implementing and pursuing worldwide logistics. Success lies in fully utilizing an extensive network of providers. In order to improve efficiency and service, global logistics is evolving towards more centralized third-party suppliers.

  1. Optimization of different logistics activities:The principal success of standalone optimization is that it reduces the internal structure to a minimum and decentralizes IT processes to streamline operations and strictly monitor expenses. Dedicated business units exist for each activity and are locally run, providing small to midsize companies with customized and flexible solutions. 
  2. Management of all logistics activities: Also known as logistics management, this structure is designed to support worldwide network strategies, and is organized geographically. Different activities are grouped together and then managed globally.  
  3. Pace of development: Organizational models determine development and growth opportunities. To create a winning and repeatable growth formula, leading third-party providers enhance their capabilities. They develop simple and clearly defined integration techniques along with the requisite tools to expand their footprint.

Evolving Global Logistics

The worldwide logistics marketplace is evolving. For that reason, there is not a single path to success. You can overtake competitors by selecting an organizational model that best supports your corporate strategy and ensuring that the strategy matches targeted customer segments. To increase your competitive edge, developing insights into customer needs and behaviors is critical. Through this approach, you can standardize processes on an international basis while structuring your business to take into account regional and local differences. The end result is an extremely centered organization with a well-defined business strategy, and one that can deliver sustained growth and profitability.


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3 Key Factors of Successful Sustainable Freight Transport

by Administrator8. January 2015 11:00

3 Key Factors of Successful Sustainable Freight Transport | The Dependable Companies

In 2004, the burning of fossil fuel for transportation purposes made up 13 percent of global emissions. With concerns over the environment continuing to mount, transportation companies have been placed in a unique position. They must continue to provide the same exceptional services while reducing their carbon footprint and harnessing sustainable solutions. Is it possible for shipping companies to do this?

Practices That Lead to Green Shipping

Freight services actually can reduce their carbon footprint by following certain practices: 

  1. Use more aerodynamic vehicles –Companies that use trucks for most of their shipping needs are keenly aware of the need for less wind resistance. The more aerodynamic the truck is, the less fuel it uses to push through the elements. Some businesses make their vehicles more streamlined by adding eco flaps that enable air to move through the mud flaps while simultaneously reducing the water and debris from other vehicles. 
  2. Standard company speed limit – Finding the ideal speed limit for the vehicles used is a great way that companies can save on fuel consumption. Most businesses set their speed limit between 50 and 60 miles per hour to reduce emissions and to comply with public safety concerns. 
  3. Use of auxiliary power units – Idling engines are wasteful, so some companies have determined to reduce the amount of time an engine is left to idle by using auxiliary power units. Instead of letting the engine continue running while the truck is stopped, the unit actually turns off the truck's engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.  

The Best of Both Worlds

Only a handful of transportation companies are able to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay transport standards, but those that do get the best of both worlds. By using green initiatives and making small changes to their transportation practices, companies are able to differentiate themselves from normal businesses. They manage to meet their customers' expectations while reducing their carbon footprint, helping to create a better tomorrow for the public.


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Sustainability Trends in the Trucking Industry

by Administrator30. December 2014 10:42

Sustainability Trends in the Trucking Industry | The Dependable Companies


As potential customers continue to become aware of the necessity of leaving a small carbon footprint, many trucking companies have been incorporating sustainable business practices. Not only do these practices help protect the environment, but they often also make drivers more efficient and can save money in the long term. These are some of the major sustainability trends in the trucking industry.

Fuel Economy

A lot of trucking companies are experimenting with different methods of fuel economy. Some companies have redesigned vehicles to make them more aerodynamic, while others have remapped delivery routes to cut down on the amount of wasted driving. Still others are swapping out their old, inefficient vehicles for ones that get more miles to the gallon or electric or hybrid power.

Facility Lighting, Heating, and Cooling

Sustainability is not just limited to the vehicles the company operates. It can also extend to their offices and packing facilities. By making changes to some of the hardware in the buildings like lights and climate control systems, companies can cut down drastically on the amount of power they use. Sustainable heating and cooling systems not only reduces on the amount of electricity that is needed to operate the facility, but also on the amount of water that is consumed.

Driver Training

About 35 percent of fuel economy is accounted for by drivers alone, which means driver training is sustainable practices is important for keeping trucks running at peak efficiency. Keep drivers in your fleet tuned in to the latest in sustainable practices and watch the amount of fuel they use go down exponentially.

Holistic Sustainability

Making a single change towards sustainability is a step in the right direction, but many companies have begun to take a whole-package approach to sustainability. They are making changes that affect every step of the order and delivery process rather than focusing on just one area they can improve.

Sustainable practices in the trucking industry are about more than just following trends. They are also about doing what is right for the environment and the future.


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Public Warehousing: Protecting the Goods

by Administrator30. December 2014 10:35

Public Warehousing: Protecting the Goods | The Dependable CompaniesAny company you ask will surely tell you that your products are important; if they do not, that is a bad sign. However, those who care would agree that their products deserve the best care possible both in storage and during shipment. For businesses that deal in shipping, which is most of them, finding a reliable public warehousing service is a high priority. Having a strong link in place here keeps the supply chain moving and helps your business find success.

Whether you need short term or long term storage for items large or small, the right warehouse should have you covered. Many are able to provide flexible, individual plans that the client can customize to their needs. Plans like this can be especially helpful as a business grows and changes over the years, since the plan is also able to grow and change.

The right public warehousing service should be ready to totally integrate with your supply chain and keep things running smoothly. They have the logistics capability needed to address both distribution and warehousing, and may be able to provide other helpful services like harbor drayage, pick and pack, and more. This well rounded understanding of the shipping process equips them to deal with it capably and successfully. With a secure warehouse watched by guards and video surveillance, along with other measures like fire protection, you should have everything needed to keep a shipment safe and sound until it reaches its final destination.

Getting your goods from one place to another is an undeniably vital part of doing business. Getting your important products out to their intended audience is the biggest way, if not the only way, to succeed. If those goods are stored poorly, the customer is sure to notice. Keep your products and your client relations fresh with a great public warehousing service. With a secure facility, trained staff, and years of experience, the right company is out there ready to be found.


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3PL | Blog | Warehousing and Distribution

Making Sustainable Shipping More Environmentally Friendly

by Administrator22. December 2014 10:38

Making Sustainable Shipping More Environmentally Friendly | The Dependable Companies


Reports state that the shipping industry accounts for 3% of greenhouse gas emissions. This amount is largely due to the fact that cheap, polluting fuel has traditionally been used for the ships. However, standards are rising and bringing a change to all of this. In efforts to make your sustainable shipping more environmentally friendly, you have a few different choices.

Use Cleaner Fuel

The most obvious choice would be to use cleaner distillate fuel when shipping. This option is safer, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. On average, clean fuel costs $300 more than cheaper fueling methods. Another option would be to install scrubbers to remove toxins from emissions, however it comes with a steep price as well. For this reason, most shippers will seek more financially fiscal options.

Reduce Fuel Usage

Outside of cleaning the fuel, reducing fuel usage is another easily recognized choice. Though this option is cheaper and quite effective, it is not always efficient. Decreasing the number of routes or rerouting certain ships could cause some customers to be lost. In efforts to thwart such occurrences, ships may take on more cargo, which could lead to overcrowding and damaged goods. On a positive note, the possibility of such instances creates a need for quality leadership and logistics providers who can help develop solutions that allow shippers to maximize capacity while still reducing fuel usage.

Employ Available Technologies

Employing different technologies can prove to be efficient in reducing pollution. One common technology is the use of wind power for the ships. Another option that has not been employed by many shippers is the use of Biocide-free paint. Both options do come with large upfront costs; however the investment pays for itself. For instance, the paint increases fuel efficiency by 9%. 

There are different alternatives for making your sustainable shipping environmentally friendly. Consult with a logistics manager today to fully weigh your options and make the best decision for your company.


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